Thursday, September 20, 2018

[Review] Mandy

Nicolas Cage stars in Mandy, a trippy and metal AF revenge horror film that's rife with slaughter and mayhem, while featuring a reliably batshit perfomance from the Caged manimal. As you can guess, this isn't related to the Barry Manilow song.

Deep in the wilderness sometime during the 1980s ('83 to be exact), Red Miller (Cage) and his rocker girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) spend their nights peacefully stargazing from a rustic cabin. But that changes when Mandy is abducted and sacrificed by a sinister (and insanely weird) cult. From there, Red crafts a nefarious battle axe and sets out to eff shit up.

This monstrous concoction moves at a brooding pace, establishing a hellish and unhinged atmosphere. It's definitely the type of film that could cause walkouts for unsuspecting audience members. Along the way, we witness disturbing satanic rituals, mutated hornets, and loads and loads of blood. Oh yeah, and there's a fucking demon creature that cruises around on a motorcycle.

It also has a tremendously warped visual flair. The provocative images bleed into one another -- displaying acid filtered visuals, abstract skies, feverish nightmare sequences and surreal lava lamp-like colors of bloody and fiery reds. There's even a couple of short animated scenes tossed in. The madness is all backed by the late Johann Johannsson's eerie musical score of melty synths and creeping bass.

As for Nic Cage, it takes a while for him to unleash here, because his character doesn't actually leap into action until after the midway point. But when he finally does, oh boy... His manic rampage essentially begins as he frantically paces around a bathroom screaming and crying profusely only to sit on the toilet and guzzle a bottle of liquor, and you can't help but wonder if that's what his real life is like. He also flaunts some pretty demented facial expressions throughout, and at one point he snorts a mysterious powder off of a shard of glass. And if I had to pick his best line, it would be when he says "That was my favorite shirt!" after being slashed with a switchblade.

Mandy gets crazier and crazier as it goes -- sort of reminiscent of last year's strange horror flick The Void. And its climax virtually takes us to the gates of hell, and by that point, we wouldn't expect anything less.

( 8/10 )

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